Five Minute Friday: Steady

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

I’m a country girl, born and raised near woods filled with hidden creatures and disappearing streams. The sound of owls hooting in the night draws up pleasant childhood memories of smoky barbecue and badminton and fat slugs. More often than not during the hot summer months, dirt gathers beneath my nails, evidence of yet another battle with weeds. The prairie on which I’ve lived for nearly a decade is ringed by ashy blue mountains, like those found on picture postcards. Ten minutes in one direction and one runs into a river. Ten minutes in the other, a lake.

My people – pioneers and farmers and horse thieves – trekked across thousands of miles in wagons or on foot. I know. The history there is complex and at times truly awful. No truly pure saint has ever lived this side of Eden. Still, I can’t help but admire the grit and moxie it must’ve taken to pull up stakes and leave the familiar behind, in the dust. To square your shoulders and press on, toward the hope of something better.

For all my love of London and New York, I could never live in a city. Give me the open spaces, the land where crickets cry.

Doing the link-up thing with the sass machines and the moustache crushes. We pontificate on the prompt: steady.

Go.

I’ll be 33 in roughly six weeks. There is now officially a Stacy London/Rogue of the X-Men/Anna from Frozen (pick your fandom) white streak in my hair. I guess I’m supposed to feel bad about both of those things. That’s what the vague, faceless mass called “society” tells me. Start shaving a few years off my age when asked and scurry off to the salon to hide the follicular evidence.

Why?

See, any day that I haven’t been told that I have cancer or that I’m in need of a transplant or that I’m dying is a pretty good day to me. Why should I waste time and energy worrying about age or hair color or wrinkles or whatever else it is about which I “should” be worrying? I have so little energy anyway. I’d rather spend it in other pursuits. (Not throwing shade at women who dye their hair or spend money on anti-aging treatments; I could not care less. It’s just not my jam). Besides, after experiencing the horribleness of waking up in the the night with a pounding heart, in the midst of a panic attack, anything I can definitively choose not to be anxious over, I will.

Maybe I’ll feel differently a decade down the road. Doubt it. If men become “distinguished” as they age, then so do women. Let’s reject the idea that the fairer sex decreases in value and significance the moment we slip past age 21. (Oh, there’s nothing that could entice me to be 21 again).

Time beats a steady rhythm, one we cannot pause or change. It is out of our hands. A thing we cannot control. All the creams and dyes and lotions and potions and injections and diets in the world will not stop the passing of the days, weeks, months, years. The body grows old. It breaks down. The very steadiness of time creates unsteadiness for skin and bone, muscle and organ.

How comforting it is to know that there is One outside the steady and the unsteady, One who is not ravaged by changing seasons, One whose eyes never grow dim. He is light and fire and radiance and goodness and beauty and mystery. He sits, enthroned, never to be toppled. He knows the number of hairs on our heads – white or otherwise. He determined the length of our lives long before that steady time even existed.

Yes, we age. We break down. Wrinkles and glittering strands and dimmed vision.

And yet – somehow – He builds us up. For the break down is not a winding down, but a winding up. An aching walk toward the Forever Place, the Eternal Home, where pain and sorrow exist no more.

Perhaps we’ll have polka-dotted hair and plaid skin there.

We won’t care.

Stop.

Signature

Photo credit: Daria Nepriakhina
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31 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Steady

    1. Thanks for visiting, Cathy! I know that Heaven will be glorious and beyond anything I can imagine. I do long for the return of our Lord and the restoration of all things. But I’m not ready just yet to go through the Valley of the Shadow. White hairs and wrinkles are good by me!

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  1. Love this, Marie. You’re so right that trying to halt time is not only futile, it’s destructive.

    But I’m not very consistent, as I still subscribe to the Tom Petty Philosophy Of Life: “If you never slow down, you never grow old.”

    Barb says my last words on Earth will be, despite my illness, “Yo, DUDE! Hold my beer and watch THIS!”

    Your neighbour at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/06/your-dying-spouse-327-whats-heaven-like.html

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh, Marie. I always love the poignancy in your posts. And the vision of polka-dotted hair and plaid skin made me smile. 🙂 Thank you for the reminder of the most important. “the break down is not a winding down, but a winding up. An aching walk toward the Forever Place, the Eternal Home, where pain and sorrow exist no more.”

    I’m glad this place is only the dressing room, so to speak, for heaven. It is going to be amazing to be there with no more sorrow, no more worries, no more sin beating us down. To be renewed, forever, will be an amazing thing.

    I’m so glad you’re writing again!

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    1. I’m glad to be writing again, too. I’ve missed it. And missed all of you.

      I like the idea of this life as a dressing room. Badly lit and not always what we want, but every so often we catch a glimpse of something truly divine, and that keeps us going.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful! I have far too many of those fine, grey hairs as well. Wisdom. A women’s grey hairs means she’s becoming wiser and wiser so I keep telling myself. Your home sounds beautiful!

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    1. I love the first chapter of Ezekiel because the dude can’t even fully articulate the wildness that he’s seeing. God is amazing! (And I love you, too).

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  4. Marie, your home sounds amazing and you have such a beautiful way of taking us there. I’ve often read stories set in places like that. You are a blessed girl indeed!

    Loved this: “He builds us up. For the break down is not a winding down, but a winding up.” Yes yes yes! I’ll take that! Thank you for the reminder to enjoying living, every part of it!

    Shauna Blaak 🙂

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    1. It’s easy to forget to see the beauty around me; I’m so accustomed to it. But every so often, I’m reminded that this is a lovely place to be indeed.

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  5. I always love reading Marie. You are clever. Creative. A bit cocky and cool. Sometimes callous (I color my hair and I’m twice your age!!!) But, I love the dickens out of you my young friend. I replied to your comment on HHH and wanted you to read it: Marie, I read your tweet about leaving your job. Big adjustment but you do have a Big God who will walk along side of you in the transition. He will hold you steady. And, when those days come when you are teetering? STOP and remember and believe. (((xo)))

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  6. Marie, how your words blessed me. I almost included all of the second half of the post in my comment but limited myself to this, “How comforting it is to know that there is One outside the steady and the unsteady, One who is not ravaged by changing seasons, One whose eyes never grow dim.” I read those words and broke out into effortless praise. Oh, the goodness and faithfulness of our God.

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  7. Great post, Marie! I know time is steady but sometimes it just feels like it’s moving too fast! I’m grateful that God is steady and someone we can rely on.

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    1. I would love it if I could control time. (And my height; I always wanted to be 5’10” but fell 4 inches too short). I want more of it. I want to slow it down. And yet – I know that God knows best. His ways are good and true.

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  8. The description of your home and ancestors was such a pleasure to read. As was the rest of it. I got a silver tone on my blonde highlights this week and caught a little glimpse of what gray Will look like. Not so bad !
    I think silver hair is beautiful

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  9. I always thought Rogues white streak was pretty cool.

    In about a month, I’ll be 63. Still cranking along although I’ve suffered some reversals over the past two months.

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    1. You keep cranking, James. We like having you around. I believe the Lord has brought you to mind quite a lot recently; know that I am praying for you.

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  10. I confess I dye my hair (myself). I would have been white at 30 and wasn’t quite ready to look old. However, I scripture holds up the value of age (as evident be gray hair): Proverbs 16:31. How blessed we are to have a Creator, Lord, Sustainer who never changes. The Alpha and Omega remains steady to keep replenishing us as our flesh weakens.

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